Retail Industry Perspectives
As someone who has a borderline shopping addiction, I have a healthy amount of interaction with brands and the retail industry. I’m constantly being pulled back to my favorite stores, online and in-person, enticed by sales and rewards programs. I’ve even been known to indulge in some online shopping after a cocktail or two. Thankfully, I’m not alone there– Americans spent over $39 billion on drunk shopping in 2018. Oops.
My perspective on shopping has shifted dramatically given my newly gained access to the technology side of things. I’m a woman working in tech retail analytics, constantly researching how exactly brands are upping the ante with robust technology solutions. I’m also learning how consumers (just like myself) are reacting to new-age retail solutions: experiential shopping, personalization, etcetera.
Unsurprisingly, with those new solutions comes a little bit of resistance from consumers. Humans hate change. We find safety and comfort in consistency. It’s only natural that, along with game-changing solutions like 360 customer data and personalization, we worry about what exactly we’re giving away. How much information are we willing to hand over in order to get those experiences in return? The New York Times is currently running The Privacy Project, a series of op-eds exposing the reality of modern-day privacy (mostly, a lack thereof). I can’t say it crosses my mind too often, considering I handed off my DNA to 23andMe without much thought. If you see a clone/robot version of me in the future, tell her I say hi.
The point is, the retail industry has changed wildly within the past decade. Some brands are embracing the shift more than others, and some are getting it right, while others are missing the mark. This is an exploratory period, for both brands and consumers, to find what sticks.
A Unique Outlook
I like to think that I’m in a unique position– I’m not only an active consumer, but I get first-hand access to the nitty gritty details of retail technology. The combination of the two creates a well-informed perspective.
I hope to explore various aspects of the industry throughout a series of blog posts, with some (hopefully) valuable insight along the way. I hope that these articles can help illuminate aspects of modern retail and provide insights valuable to consumers, brands, and those in tech.